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Standard User BeesonBison
(newbie) Sat 21-Feb-15 11:14:14
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Zen or AAISP or another?


[link to this post]
 
My first post smile

I've just found out that I can get FTTC (the 40/10 max one, not the uber fast one) on my recently enabled exchange. Seems hard to believe as I'm in the middle of nowhere and have had 4/0.3 speeds for the last 3 years!

Anyway, I work from home so I need a decent, stable connection with good 24/7 support along with:
- 1 static IP
- no port blocking / throttling / traffic shaping
- good amount of data transfer (we use VOIP for phones so do not need any call package on the PSTN and transfer massive files over Dropbox)

My price point was up to £50 per month, including line rental.

Two that have jumped out are Zen and AAISP. They seemed pretty similar, apart from the fact that AAISP is capped at 100GB transfer on the Home::1 package.

My main reason for posting this was that originally I was 100% going to go for Zen, until I read some reviews on the ISPreview.co.uk website, so I wanted to ask people for their opinion on the two, or if there was another provider that I might have missed?
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 21-Feb-15 11:53:52
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
Why can you only get 40/10? Is it simply because of your distance from the cabinet? All FTTC cabinets are 80Mbps-enabled. What estimates does this checker give?

Which exchange is it please?

If you have an LLU-phone on Sky or TalkTalk you may need to use the Address option. Do not use the Postcode option.

Have you ruled out Plusnet? Their 40Mbps FTTC is 40/20, so if the upstream estimate is above 10Mbps they may be worth considering. Static IP address is a one-off £5 which you can set up through your Member Centre (Control Panel) immediately after first connection, and takes effect when you disconnect and reconnect.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains,site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 56.5/15.1Mbps @ 600m. - IPv4BQM IPv6BQM

Edited by RobertoS (Sat 21-Feb-15 11:54:28)

Standard User BeesonBison
(newbie) Sat 21-Feb-15 11:59:25
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
Thanks for reply. The exchange is Elsworth.

I'm told it is the distance to the cabinet that is causing the speed cap.

The information from your checker gave me:
FTTC Range A (Clean) 36.3 27.4 7.5 5.7 -- Available
FTTC Range B (Impacted) 29.1 15 7.2 3.4 -- Available

I was actually going to go with Plusnet originally but to be honest I'd read some bad things about their customer service recently, and as I've had a few issues with ADSL in the past 6 months customer support is a bit of a priority. I also read somewhere that they use traffic shaping? Would be interesting to know what you think about their service.


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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 21-Feb-15 13:50:34
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
The traffic management isn't the traditional kind that imposed speed cuts at various times. I've only heard of a couple of people who seem to get some strange effect from it - the rest who were in doubt like you and those of us around when the earlier traditional version was dropped don't notice it and often say so.

The CS problem has been a slow response on the phone and to tickets. That problem seems to be decreasing, as we were promised it would now that the second call centre and newly recruited staff are getting up to speed. The reps on the in-house forms are very good, and visit these forums as well though not posting nearly every day as they used to.

For my first FTTC when I left O2 LLU I chose IDNet, that have a similar reputation to Zen but are smaller. After my first 12 months I moved to Plusnet as IDNet were very expensive and I couldn't see what I gained from paying more. Since when I have upgraded twice, the second time being eleven months into my 18-month term and meaning I had to restart the eighteen months. That didn't bother me in the least.

I had big trouble for years on ADSL2+ due to intermittent huge noise on the line. That's a different story but was a major factor in going for FTTC. I believed the problem was the cables from the cabinet to the exchange, which of course FTTC bypasses. Fortunately I was right - but choosing IDNet was party caused by the worry that I might need good CS if I'd been wrong. At the time Plusnet did not have FTTC.

Re your own connection, from the posts on here I'm not sure the Zen CS for non-business customers is quite as caring as it might be, but it's not something I could easily substantiate. Suffice to say I don't think I would go there myself. On the other hand at one time I would never have looked at Plusnet - but things with them have changed dramatically since those days.

I think you should look at AAISP and Plusnet, but on your Market 1 exchange you will probably find Plusnet prices £7.50pm higher than the headline prices.

Another alternative is xilo. A large number of ex-ADSL24 customers fed up since COMS took them over have joined them, as have some ex-O2/Be deserters from Sky. The CS has a magical reputation and the broadband service seemingly fine.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains,site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 56.5/15.1Mbps @ 600m. - IPv4BQM IPv6BQM
Standard User BeesonBison
(newbie) Sat 21-Feb-15 13:55:43
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
I really appreciate your response and your opinion. Thank you for taking the time to reply!
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sat 21-Feb-15 14:05:31
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
I forgot to say, (my laptop is playing up these days and I completely lost the first draft), the fact that Plusnet upstream is "up to 20Mbps" is almost certainly not relevant given your estimates.

I do also have a niggling concern about the way they may be going since a chap from BT became the CEO last year some time. I'm not in any way thinking of leaving though. Obviously I wouldn't suggest them if I were.

My broadband basic info/help site - www.robertos.me.uk. Domains,site and mail hosting - Tsohost.
Connection - Plusnet UnLim Fibre (FTTC). Sync ~ 56.5/15.1Mbps @ 600m. - IPv4BQM IPv6BQM
Standard User mixt
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 21-Feb-15 14:07:32
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
I've been with both ISPs (was with AAISP, now with Zen, as you can see from my sig). Reason I moved from AAISP was due to usage. I was on their unit based tariff, and working from home, specifically during the day during peak time (9am-6pm, Mon-Fri) could get a bit pricey. I also had to artificially cap the speed of my connection during these times to ensure no nasty surprises occur (some device deciding it was going to download a 1Gb update during the day, for example).

Both ISPs are good, but I moved back to Zen due to usage limits with AAISP. Even the Home::1 package with them would not have helped me.

I am curious of the review you read about Zen, making you think otherwise. Both ISPs, in my opinion, are top notch. Had no issues with either at all.

If you do not want to worry about usage, I would go with Zen. Static IP out the box (or even a /29 if you want) and, unlike AAISP (if you also take the line rental), you will be able to make outbound calls on your landline (not possible on landline provisioned by AAISP). Zen also offer some bolt-on voice options for anytime minutes to 01, 02, 03, 0845 and 0870 numbers (they were offering unlimited anytime minutes, but I can only seem to find 5000 anytime minutes on their site; weird, you might want to call sales about that if the anytime minutes add-on interests you).

Zen Unlimited Fibre 2 (60/20Mb FTTC) | IPv6 via HE | » Automated Hourly HTTPx5 TBB Speed Tests «
Previous ISPs » aaisp.net (40/10Mb FTTC) | Virgin Media (50Mb/Cable) | Be* Un Limited (ADSL2+) | Zen (ADSL)
Download Maximiser | BIND GeoDNS | Are you being blÝcked?
Standard User tommy45
(knowledge is power) Sat 21-Feb-15 14:21:56
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
If 40mbps is going to be the likely max sync that your line could support ,then you for stability reasons would be better off on the Openreach 40/10 product Plusnets 40/20 isnt the same as 40/10 but is acually the 80/20 with a cap on throughput done internally by Plusnet
In all fairness i would have a read of some of plusnets reviews they don't make for good reading either
Then there is contract lenghts to consider plusnet is 18mths for home and 24mths for buisness also the price of their buisness products for what would appear no extra in the way of support or service you IMO would be better off else where

Edited by tommy45 (Sat 21-Feb-15 16:46:50)

Standard User Tacitus
(experienced) Sat 21-Feb-15 16:02:31
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
For my first FTTC when I left O2 LLU I chose IDNet, that have a similar reputation to Zen but are smaller. After my first 12 months I moved to Plusnet as IDNet were very expensive.......
Compared to PlusNet perhaps they are expensive, but their prices are pretty much the same as Zen's. Or were the last time I looked. You pays your money etc smile

I notice the OP is using VOIP. Don't know what, if anything you're paying for VOIP, but had you thought of buying the whole lot, VOIP included, from one supplier? Again it depends on usage, but Zen do 1000mins for something like £5.50/month so combining the packages might make it more attractive. Timico, who only do B2B are pretty hot on VOIP, but I'm guessing they are expensive for a complete package.

I partially agree with Roberto in that given the better reliability of FTTC, service backup is possibly not worth the premium it once had. Nonetheless, if you're working from home and depend on your BB/Phone connection, then I would think reliability and service are worth *some* premium. But that's just me. YMMV of course.
ISP Representative merula
(isp) Sat 21-Feb-15 17:56:02
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Re: Zen or AAISP or another?


[re: BeesonBison] [link to this post]
 
HI Depending on where you are in Elsworth you may well be a little way from the cabinet which is why the speeds are slower. If you are in the Broad End area / Cotterells Lane and even some bits of Brook street I can imagine that.

Having Lived in the village for 10 years I know the fun of broadband there. If you want to drop me a PM here feel free - we are also locally based if we can help in any way.
The above post has been made by an ISP REPRESENTATIVE (although not necessarily the ISP being discussed in the post).
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